Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh will play the role of Princess Fiona in Shrek The Musical from 5 October 2011, replacing Amanda Holden who has announced she is pregnant.

Holden, who has played the role since the musical opened at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on 14 June (previews from 6 May 2011), will perform as Princess Fiona for the final time on 3 October, two months earlier than originally planned.

Kimberley Walsh is a member of Girls Aloud, one of the UK's most successful pop groups, alongside Cheryl Cole, Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts and Sarah Harding.

According to press material, “Kimberley's love of musical theatre was explored in the ITV2 documentary The Passions of Girls Aloud which culminated in her appearance at the Queens Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue singing 'On My Own', in the role of Eponine, in Les Miserables. This was the realisation of a life-long dream, having played the role of Young Cosette in a production of Les Miserables when she was 12 years old.”

She'll join current cast members Nigel Lindsay as the lonely ogre, alongside Nigel Harman as Lord Farquaad and Richard Blackwood as Donkey in Jason Moore and Rob Ashford's production .

Brought to the stage by Sam Mendes' Neal Street Productions and the theatrical debut of Hollywood studio Dreamworks Animations, the musical follows the plot of the 2001 Oscar-winning animated feature with Shrek finding happiness and conquering a fearsome dragon with the help of a wise-cracking donkey and a tough-talking Princess.